Editorial |

Time to Keep Cool, Bennett

Haaretz.
Haaretz Editorial
The scene of the terror attack in Bnei Brak on Tuesday.
The scene of the terror attack in Bnei Brak on Tuesday.Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Haaretz.
Haaretz Editorial

The terror attack in Bnei Brak two days ago was the third within a week, following attacks in Be’er Sheva and Hadera. In these three attacks, 11 people were killed and dozens wounded. The terrorist in Bnei Brak was a Palestinian from the Jenin area, and the terrorists in Be’er Sheva and Hadera were Israeli Arabs. The string of lethal attacks calls to mind the worst periods of terror Israel faced in the past when many Israelis were afraid to leave the house, ride the bus or enter a shopping mall.

When people’s sense of security is shaken, there is an expectation that the government and the defense establishment will eliminate the threat and restore calm. This is indeed an emergency situation. At this stage and given that the terrorists were Israeli citizens and Palestinians from the territories, forces have to be bolstered and suspects will have to be detained in both the West Bank and inside the Green Line to restore personal security.

With two shocking attacks, ISIS rears its head in Israel. LISTEN

However, the government must not give in to the pointless calls for collective punishment. It should not carry out home demolitions or issue a sweeping ban on Palestinians visiting the Temple Mount during Ramadan, two measures that have not proven effective aside from satisfying a thirst for vengeance. The cries of “Death to the Arabs” that are being heard once more in the public sphere are not only racist, they also ignore the fact that the Israeli human fabric is composed of two peoples, most of whom wish to live side by side in peace. Policeman Amir Khoury from Nof Hagalil, who was killed in the Bnei Brak terror attack after he fired at the terrorist, and Border Policeman Yazan Falah from Kasra Sami’a, who was killed in the Hadera terror attack, are a testament to this.

Nor does the unstable security situation justify taking unnecessary collective measures as was done by several local authorities, which canceled construction and landscaping projects at schools. Ramat Gan mayor Carmel Shama Hacohen even wrote that he would settle scores with any contractors who did not heed his request to shut down the construction sites, saying he would patrol the schools armed with a pistol.

The government and defense establishment must not fall into the trap of those who seek revenge and hurt the Palestinians en masse. The month of Ramadan begins this weekend, and rash, vengeful moves could trigger an escalation and wider violence, similar to what happened in Israel and Gaza during Operation Guardian of the Walls last May.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett needs to keep his cool and not be swayed by the right, which describes the conflict in the terminology of a religious war or wants to turn it into an all-out Jewish-Arab conflict. Not only have the terror attacks been condemned across the board, but the government that Bennett formed, based on Jewish-Arab cooperation, is the best proof of all that reality is more complex than the way it is portrayed by the vengeance-seekers.

The above article is Haaretz's lead editorial, as published in the Hebrew and English newspapers in Israel.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

An El Al jet sits on the tarmac at John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton, Thursday, in 2003.

El Al to Stop Flying to Toronto, Warsaw and Brussels

FILE PHOTO: A Star of David hangs from a fence outside the dormant landmark Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood in 2021.

American Judaism Is in Decline. That's Great News for American Jews

Crowds at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, in April.

U.S. Official: West Bank Entry for Palestinian Americans Unrelated to Israeli Visa Waivers

Haaretz spoke with several people who said they had fled Ukraine, arrived in Israel,  and were asked to undergo DNA tests in order to establish paternity.

'My Jewish Grandmother Has a Number on Her Arm, Why Does Israel Greet Me This Way?'

People taking part in the annual "March of the Living" to commemorate the Holocaust, between the former death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, four years ago.

It’s Not Just the Holocaust. Israel Is Failing to Teach the History of the Jews

 A Jewish cemetery in Warsaw, Poland.

Israel and Poland Fight Over History, Truth - and Israeli Students